Raspberry Pi in Education Newsletter - Issue 8 - May 2015
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Raspberry Pi in Education


Latest news from the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team

The Raspberry Pi Education Team is in York this week at the National STEM Centre, running free CPD for teachers at an event called Picademy North. The classroom-friendly Pi training roadshow will continue on to Exeter in the following week, before heading to Leeds for the first of our Picademy@Google courses. Ben and Rachel have begun the Creative Technologists mentorship programme with some talented young people, and, with Eben, Liz, Matt, Helen and Paul from Pimoroni have been teaching thousands of kids to code at Maker Faire Bay Area in the USA. The Astro Pi competition is underway. Dave and James have been leading development of resources to help schools get started. To say that we are busy would be an understatement! 

Getting Started with Astro Pi

Here at Pi Towers, Astro Pi fever is taking hold! Over the last few weeks there have been a number of things happening which we’re really excited about, so it’s time for an update.

The first and most crucial bit of news for those of you furiously writing your competition entries is that you now have just a little more time. UK Space, the organisation managing the competition, have decided to give secondary students a whole extra week. As we were a week late in shipping the kits to our phase 1 winners, the deadline is now Monday the 6th of July, by 10am, so get cracking! Put this date in your diary, don’t forget.

To help you get to grips with programming the Astro Pi HAT we’ve created a couple of helpful resources.

Firstly, you can find out all about the hardware, its capabilities and get a detailed breakdown of the Python library using our Astro Pi Guide. It explains in detail all aspects of the library and provides some examples of how to use them.

However, if you would rather have a play and learn as you go, check out our Getting Started with Astro Pi resource, which works through a series of examples and explores most of the the Python library.

To discover what schools and students are getting up to with their Astro Pi kits, check out #astropi on Twitter or take a read of our Mission Update 3 blog post.

Meet the Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists

In February, Rachel Rayns, our Creative Producer, announced and opened entries for the new Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists mentorship programme. 

Ben Nuttall introduced the individuals that make up this years cohort via the Raspberry Pi blog, where you can get to meet them for the first time. 

In April, Rachel and Ben held the first ever creative technologists induction weekend here at Pi Towers in Cambridge, which involved Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) from participants and mentors; introducing the CTs to their new Raspberry Pi starter kits; getting them up and running with their Pis with a Python and GPIO workshop using the CamJam EduKit and the camera module; and a punting trip through the heart of Cambridge.

The following weekend the group went on their second field trip – to Newcastle to visit Maker Faire UK and the Baltic Centre. Next up is a trip to Pimoroni‘s workshop for a hack weekend full of laser cutter fun, and there is plenty more in store for the group over the coming year.

We’ll be sharing more information about the Creative Technologists as the programme continues and as the participants’ projects are developed. It’s a 12-month programme and we intend to run it again next year. If you know some enthusiastic creative young people aged between 16 and 21, then encourage them to register their interest and we’ll email them when information about the 2016-17 programme is available.

Euro Python Education Summit

The popular programming language Python, included as part of Raspbian, the free Linux operating system for the Raspberry Pi, is rising in popularity in schools for teaching text based programming. In response, the organisers of the Euro Python Conference taking place this year in Bilbao, Spain, are holding an Education Summit. We’re looking forward to attending. They said:
Education has always been an important topic for the Python community as Python was intended to be an easy, yet powerful, understandable language to be used by anyone. With the rising interest from teachers and schools in educational tools, many of them running in Python, and in the use of Python for educational purposes it is just expected from the Python community to respond accordingly.

So, in this year's Euro Python we are organising an Educational Track with the collaboration of Raspberry Pi Foundation for July 24th. There will be education focused talks, birds of a feather to debate and Educational Sprints for the building of education focused projects during the weekend.

Furthermore, in order to facilitate the attendance, we have reduced the ticket cost to student price for the teachers interested in the event. Of course, remember that we have the financial aid program at the disposal for those who may need it.

We hope to see many teachers, educational enthusiasts and developers at the event, to share skills and develop classroom solutions.

Keep on computing!
Carrie Anne
Education Pioneer
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Free computing training in Leeds thanks to a little help from our friends at Sign up for Picademy@Google events happening over the next few months. 
Picademy featured in Computing At School Newsletter with two articles written by Raspberry Pi Certified Educators! Inspired and want to take part? Then Sign up today for our event in July.
The 2015 Scratch Conference will take place in Amsterdam this year between 12th and 15th August 2015.  This years' theme is “Creative Communities” and we hope to see you there. 
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